Chocolate Allergies

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For children and adults of all the ages, eating chocolate is a passion.  Chocolate is present in hundreds of thousands of candy, beverage and desert products. And to top it off,  the antioxidants found in chocolate makes us feel less guilty when we give ourselves more often then we should.

However, there are many people worldwide who cannot indulge themselves in the pleasure of chocolate without consequences to their health and well-being.

The exact cause of Chocolate Allergy

Fermented cocoa beans, roasted and then ground can contain added ingredients such as gluten, soy, corn syrup, milk, fruits, different kinds of nuts and additives to obtain the desired taste and color.  More time than not, it is the added ingredients which cause an allergic reaction not the chocolate itself. Unfortunately, the number one added ingredient found in chocolate is milk which is believed to be the common cause of food related allergies in the world.

Symptoms of Chocolate Allergies

There are many symptoms of an allergy to chocolate such as headache, rash, heartburn, hives, itching in the rectum and trouble with breathing just to name a few. One of the most severe allergic reactions to chocolate is asthma and is responsible for thousands of emergency room visits every year.

An allergist may diagnosis allergies to chocolate by blood tests or skin tests. Blood tests are considered to be the most accurate form of diagnosing a chocolate allergy.

Chocolate Allergy Prevention

Here are a few tips:

  • Chocolate allergy can be prevented by avoiding the chocolate containing products.(easier said than done!)
  • Strictly follow the instructions of your allergist, especially if you have been informed that you have severe allergic tendencies.
  • Seek out more pure forms of chocolate without added ingredients and test reactions by tasting small amounts.

About the Author: Dr. Donald Dibbern, MD in Portland, OR

Allergic to Chocolate

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